Ducati Streetfighter 848 motorcycle test

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Fighting call girl

At the end of 2008, Ducati undressed its sporty 1098, offering a muscular roadster with a radical design. Thus was born the Streetfighter, new bomb of Bologna impressive then as much by its style and its performances as by its uninviting character..
Three years later, the Italian firm throws on the pavement the stripped-down version of its 848 circuit, as lightly dressed and seductive as its predecessor.. Same first name, but with a 3-digit code, this beautiful savage is easier to approach.

Ducati Streetfighter 848

Discovery

The little Street takes up the aesthetics of its big sister with, however, a little less visual presence due to a smaller displacement. It thus appears more balanced. Seeming to gauge you by its sharp optics underlined by a rimmel of bluish LEDs, the 848 is displayed without artifice.

Headlight Ducati Streetfighter 848

A shoe barely covers the lower radiator which licks the wheel and runs so low it sinks. A real gravel sieve with high exposure.

All in taut curves and angles, the design is resolutely aggressive, sporty. Billhook cut, even forming protruding growths at its ends to accommodate the fork tubes that embed therein, the lines from the tank spin to the rear loop. Insolutely arched towards the heavens, almost in one piece, it is adorned with openings and mesh extractors, rear lights and minimalist LED license plate illuminator. The finely satin-finished short double exhaust skilfully emphasizes the vanishing line of the seat.

Ducati Streetfighter 848 rear view

The long plates of the passenger footrests do not mismatch on the seat support, their attachment being placed under the rider seat. The whole is based on the tubular steel frame of the sports car, its red color contrasting effectively with the engine block it encloses.

Ducati Streetfighter 848 Footrest

The L-twin is an 11 ° Testastretta, meaning that the simultaneous valve opening angle has been reduced compared to the sport version. This ensures a wider range of use and lower fuel consumption and emissions. Power only drops very slightly, dropping from 140 to 132 horsepower. The boiler, with its magnesium cylinder head covers, is more than usual hidden behind the radiators. Large, the upper element will suffer in the event of a fall … The water pump would also suffer the same hardship on the left side.

Radiator Ducati Streetfighter 848

Good point, the twin 11 ° only requires a valve clearance check every 24,000km.
Another modification, the massive single-sided swingarm with a matt coating is 35 mm longer compared to that of its track sister. It advantageously presents the rear rim, with discreet ramifications, which seems far away from the rear shell, accentuating the impression of length.

Swingarm Ducati Streetfighter 848

The chassis equipment is not to be outdone, but it is lower than the 1098. The front suspension is entrusted to a fully adjustable 43mm Marzocchi inverted fork. The column angle and the trail are increased: 24.5 ° and 103 mm. The fully configurable Sachs shock absorber is dressed in yellow but is not Swedish … Braking is by Brembo, with 4-piston radial calipers for the front and a two-piston element for the rear. We appreciate the quality of construction and presentation of these systems, however lacking ABS. Finally, let us note the bent rim valves to more easily check the pressure of Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa.

If the engine block is neat on the right side, the other side shows ugly and massive visible hoses. Not very important given the overall dressing. The integration of the electrical harness is very good, proof of this are the mesh covers around the steering column. Our test model is also adorned with many optional parts: carbon for the wheel skirts, engine plate covers, radiator covers; red anodized aluminum for the bar ends and the oil pan plug. The general appearance of the machine is a treat for our voyeuristic retinas. Beautiful to the end of the handles, ready to welcome her pilot, it’s time to get on our scarlet companion.

In the saddle

The important arch of the croup and a particularly vertical crutch force to raise the leg high. Once perched on the saddle culminating at 840 mm from the ground to the crotch and even more at the end of the saddle, the rider sees himself tilted on the wide flat handlebars. It smacks of attack, just standing still! Remote and high-placed orders, convince people of the choice of a bellicose philosophy.

The flexion of the legs, enclosing the thin 16.5-liter tank, remains acceptable. Extremely narrow, the Streetfighter 848 disconcerts with its compactness in the saddle and its hourglass figure. We would swear to be sitting on a 125cc bodybuilder engine.

Raised by 20 mm by new bridges, the variable diameter handlebars are still very low. Underneath it, the aesthetically pleasing fork adjustment systems are easily accessible. Unlike on-board instruments. Reduced to an LCD window and a few indicator lights, the unit offers correct ergonomics but is positioned far too far from the eyes. The bar-graph tachometer remains just readable and covers various data including the small tachometer. The other information is selected via two buttons on the left stalk. The lower control is only accessible with the engine off and gives access to the DTC settings, data acquisition (which the machine can be fitted with), type of display, etc..

Ducati Streetfighter 848

The upper dial scrolls through total and partial mileage, time, exterior temperature, DTC (Ducati Traction Control) intervention level. This traction control, managed by the Ride by Wire throttle, the machine lean angle and the front and rear wheel speed analysis, can be set to eight values ​​and can be switched off. It intervenes by delay or shutdown of the ignition.

We appreciate the radial brake master cylinders but much less the minimalist controls which Ducati takes advantage of. Turn signals and horn are difficult to handle. Likewise, the absence of an engaged gear indicator, or even a fuel gauge is regrettable.

In the city

Knowing who it is for, the starter is quite shy but quickly awakens the desmodromic heart of the roadster. Immediately a hoarse melody accompanied by mechanical hissing comes to flatter the eardrums. The Bolognese song is second to none, despite a now wet clutch…

Exhaust Ducati Streetfighter 848

The double, cannon-type exhaust fires its first salvo and the street 848 rages off the asphalt with rage. Each start is a dangerous delight for the license. The first two reports turn out to be short. Fortunately, Testastretta shows some flexibility. Thus, urban evolutions are possible on the third report, at less than 3,000 revolutions / min. Balanced but above all light with only 199 kg on the scale all full, the Italian sylph twirls in traffic. Even its turning radius is correct. Only the width of the handlebars and ineffective banana mirrors can disrupt its thunderous progress. The very low positioning of the dashboard does not facilitate speed control. You have to stay zen on the boulevards to keep the beautiful pink color of your license.

We quickly understand the origin of the first name Ducati chose for him. At the expense of the pilot … Indeed, the problem is that, cramped in the streets, it is against her master that she is fighting. The wrists are strained by recurring braking, accentuated by a rather soft fork in the basic setting and too deep. With all the weight shifting to the nose gear, low speed changes of direction take time to adapt. Likewise, you have to play with the clutch so as not to suffer the impatient hiccups of your mount. The habit comes quickly. You just need to quickly master a grip of the accelerator with a short pull so as not to give too much lead to the half-trained beast. Beauty with a beast heart requires space to express herself.

Motorway and expressways

Hardly the muzzle open, the little Street orbiting you at 175 km / h and nearly 10,000 laps, still fixed on the reference urban report. But how many are there in there? Although less explosive than that of its predecessor, the available thoroughbreds certainly do not work only on oats…

Ducati Streetfighter 848 on motorway

Available from 4,000 revs, it is above 6,000 that the twin is going crazy. But 2,000 revs higher, the 848 adds even more, the torque being perfectly supported by a growing power. Without downtime, up to the breaker. Although successful, the tricolor clamping is however felt on very high speeds where the thrust becomes more linear.

Capable of nearly 250 km / h, the edgy roadster is chomping at the bit at 5,000 revolutions / minute on the motorway in 6th gear. This very long report is hardly of any use for most of the trips. The lack of airflow protection and a nasty desire to do battle with the secondary network quickly leave the soothing straightness of the expressways.

Departmental

Welcome to the ring … it’s time to put on your mouthguard. The fight is now. However, there are rules. The beautiful demand for experience. The feeling of the front axle is better than on the 1098 but still remains patchy. In addition, the 848 demands good involvement from its driver in sporty driving, the machine engaging in curves with the whole body..

Ducati Streetfighter 848 on departmental

Benefiting from a large leverage, the whimsical Italian roadster enjoys great agility. But extremely rigid, placing one block on the angle, support on the footrests is recommended for perfect tracking. With their gaze fixed on the course to follow, arms and legs on the rudder, everything is essential under penalty of seeing the crew widen their route.

Demanding, the brunette is not open to the first comer and does not easily forgive excess optimism, especially as the grip of the front brakes on the angle locks the steering. Do not expect to round your turns with the rear element, it is for absent subscribers. Good wafer economy…

Once you have learned this manual, all you have to do is taste the charm of an engine that is as exuberant as it is elastic. Surprisingly available, the Bologna twin effectively roars from 5 to 10,000 revolutions. The maximum torque of 9.5mkg (93.5Nm) is reached at 9,500 revolutions / min, but from 7,500, this value is already almost reached. Tractor without fail, the block 848 is well supported by a soft and precise box, accepting the rise of the reports on the fly. An optional shifter will provide even more efficiency. Much more accessible than its big sister, the 848 makes it possible to exploit its potential both on the road and on the circuit, where its liveliness will do wonders. The large curves are negotiated at full throttle, guided by a formidably efficient geometry in the more slender combinations. More at ease with direct and hooks than with strings, melee, the tempo of the Italian oscillates between Allegro and downright Prestissimo.

Ducati Streetfighter 848 in the virolos

The 12-beat measure of the dot paper then requires a few pauses. Powerful and durable, the front brakes provide efficient deceleration. All in the perpetual snoring and gurgling of superimposed cannons, even in town … However, the attack of the stirrups lacks bite, for the benefit of reassuring progressiveness.

The DTC traction control is not too much to contain the anger of the Streetfighter. In tight corners, the gearbox arrangement requires the use of second gear, putting the roadster in its best dynamic profile … and the most conducive to rear end evasions. The electronics subtly watch, warding off any hint of commas and other unwanted punctuation.

Ducati Streetfighter 848

Part-cycle

The 848 Streefighter is a sporty roadster whose track genes are hardly altered by a few stylistic tricks. The rigidity is total, the course holding in large curves infallible. However, the forward tilt position makes it more physical to ride than the track version. The suspensions are comfortable, almost too flexible for the character of the hot Ducati. The fork, in particular, requires a hydraulic adjustment to reduce its dive.

Braking

Lacking bite, the power of the calipers lands exponentially as the pressure on the lever. This measured feeling of attack is also attributable to the excessive work of the fork and the rear brake hardly being able to seat my machine. My test roadster only has a total of 2,000 km on the clock, it may benefit from the break-in.

Brembo brakes on Ducati Streetfighter 848

Comfort / Duo

In Italian, practicality means design, style, finish. A literal French translation can be this: rien, nada, wallou … It is certainly not for these "details" that we choose this frame. The Streefighter knows how to seduce in many other aspects, such as appearance and mechanics.
Apart from a weary position on the wrists in town, this 848 is quite a good girl on the road where the wind pressure reduces downforce. And the charm of its entrails makes the vibrations natural, even demanding.
The ultra-short rear loop and the lack of any support make the duo anecdotal. Too bad, however, the angle of flexion of the legs is very acceptable. Even if he or she loves you madly, it won’t be more than a handful of kilometers that you will take your favorite passenger..

Rear light Ducati Streetfighter 848

Consumption

You can argue for a long time aboard the Italian. The small reservoir still allows, off reserve, nearly 180 km. With an average of 7.7 liters of unleaded consumed for 100 terminals of happiness, the Streetfighter offers an excellent pleasure / consumption ratio. At constant legal speed, for the depressed, the consumption can be reduced by one liter on average.

Tank Ducati Streetfighter 848

Conclusion

Almost as unusual as the Extreme 1098, the Streetfighter 848 is made more accessible and usable. However, not very pleasant in the city and physical to take on the road at a sustained pace, the beautiful athlete remains a passionate choice. Far from the pleasant and cunning Monsters, the aggressive street fighter imposes a piloting of the same caliber. What is not easy.
But the beauty has the qualities of her faults. Its expressive and characterful engine, its assertive plastic and its sporty efficiency can make you forget its lack of versatility. The surprising elasticity of the Testastretta 11 ° works wonders and turns the crew into a sound projectile over a wide engine speed range.

Its performance and the demands of its cycle part, however, reserve it for an experienced pilot. Equally selective, its price of € 12,490 places it in direct competition with roadsters of 1,000 cm3 and more. In addition, many manufacturers offer sophisticated machines that are sometimes more welcoming on a daily basis. Kawazaki Z 1000 ABS at € 12,099, CB1000R ABS offered at € 10,590 or Triumph Speed ​​Triple ABS asking € 12,290 are first choice alternatives. Likewise, the Austrian KTM, whose 990 Super Duke at € 10,990 and 990 Super Duke R at € 12,290 are not lacking in style, can tempt an audience in demand of raw sensations. And what about the lightning Aprilia Tuono V4, available from 13,999 euros…?
So presented, the beautiful Bolognese seems expensive. Devoid of ABS, the Street 848 undoubtedly relies on its looks, its size as a dancer, its uncompromising character and its configurable traction control to make the difference. But Ducati also has, in its bestiary, a more consensual Monster 1100 EVO, equipped with ABS and DTC, at € 11,990, whose aesthetics that have become an icon risk overshadowing Mlle La Baston.
At the time of choice and of the check … it will be reason against passion.

Strong points

  • Engine character and availability
  • Cycle part
  • Equipment and finishes
  • Traction control quality
  • Sound

Weak points

  • Dashboard ergonomics
  • Lack of ABS
  • Plunging fork
  • Lack of comfort

Competitors: Aprilia Tuono, Honda CB 1000 R, Kawasaki Z 1000, KTM 990 SuperDuke, Yamaha Fazer 1000

Ducati Streetfighter 848 technical sheet

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9 thoughts on “Ducati Streetfighter 848 motorcycle test

  1. 1 / Yes, they are exhaustive .. and that’s a lot, hence the "attractive" price.

    2 / Yes, the top-case retro-fit will be possible !

    … and you have the new chassis, the new engine, multimedia and a lot of standard equipment. The bubble is shorter of course.

    But all the same, the DCT box is really a major argument. But here, Honda France only imports the most expensive model … not necessarily a good choice.

  2. Your remarks are judicious, but we can still regret this all or nothing policy because if the DCT is surely a very big plus on this machine (personally, after testing, I would gladly do without it on the AfricaTwin for example), it is on the other hand defensible to prefer to keep a few banknotes of 1000 and to regulate its suspensions "by hand"; not to mention the different engine modes: ABS and traction control are really blessings for safety … but on my bike, I NEVER use anything other than the "standard" engine mode (the one for which the bike is made, finally, with an ideal injection) because the mode "arsouille" is unpleasant of brutality for a superiority in efficiency which remains to be demonstrated, and the mode "rain" is not obligatory with a minimum of tact in the right wrist (with ABS and traction control which nevertheless already ensure good grain).

    So I understand the technological showcase side and I recognize the right of Mr. Honda (or someone else) to make motorcycles with an "integrated retro-laser toaster", but it would be good if we were also left to choose what seems important to us and what seems completely gadget to us.

  3. I agree that engine modes are a bit of a questionable refinement depending on the bike.

    However, 17 da.Nm of torque does not forgive the error, which is human and expensive … So, the Rain mode is here a good thing for the timid or not used to wet trips.

    The best is the traction control, not available on the bagger, which is petty.

    For those who often change load (solo, charged duo ..) the electric suspension on a road is a real comfort. On a sports car, it has no interest. Once, settled, it’s over.

    Then there is the marketing fad.

  4. Completely agree with you on the above (and then no traction control on a motorcycle at 26000 euros, it is indeed a bit shabby … a bit like the AfricaTwin without tubeless or central stand despite its chain transmission) . I see that you changed your answer on the possibility of Top case on the Gold Standard: it’s better this way.

    Well overall, despite these few mistakes of taste on the part of Honda on the possible options on this or that version, the machine and your article are still very desirable and since we forgot to invite me to Texas ( damn lucky you are!), I’m impatiently awaiting the arrival in France of the first bikes to see it up close (and more so ?!)

    Good continuation in your hard job!

  5. Contrary to what Duroc wrote, it is difficult when you have tasted it to do without the DCT box, even on an Africa Twin! On the Gold Wing, this box fits completely with the philosophy of the machine and I don’t understand the choice of Honda France to impose the version with Airbag to be entitled to the DCT box: it should be offered even on the Bagger. For my part I became addicted to the DCT box of my Africa Twin: just for this box I will stay at Honda if the competition does not offer the equivalent..

    When to the new Gold, I find it very successful on the aesthetic level: it is no longer a big comfortable liner but now in addition a very beautiful liner !

    Franck

  6. Quoteduroc
    I see that you changed your answer on the possibility of Top case on the Gold Standard: it’s better this way.

    Yes, I modified because the information was contradictory; and finally, it is quite possible.

    Quoteduroc
    Well overall, despite these few mistakes of taste on the part of Honda on the possible options on this or that version, the machine and your article are still very desirable and since we forgot to invite me to Texas ( damn lucky you are!), I’m impatiently awaiting the arrival in France of the first bikes to see it up close (and more so ?!)

    Good continuation in your hard profession !

    wink Like you say … Even though Texas has very little interest, at least in this region around Austin. A strange choice.

  7. Regarding the Bagger, no torque control, ok it’s petty … But that means that we also lose the engine modes (rain, lap, sport …) ?

  8. a very nice evolution on this 2018 model, why have to sacrifice the wider protection, passenger comfort and the volumes of the boxes?

    Its would have been a must without criticism … and disappointment.

  9. > Gus

    no, the engine modes are kept on the bagger.

    quote = kite06]

    … why have to sacrifice the wider protection, passenger comfort and the volumes of the boxes?

    [/ quote]

    To boost the machine, reduce weight and bulk. The passenger "loses" a little in flexibility of reception what he gains in wind protection.

    Likewise, the bubble protects the pilot much better than before. On the other hand, hands and sides of the legs, it is a little less.

    Trunk volume, same trend. Dynamism, therefore less volume. A choice assumed but subject to criticism.

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